By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 16, 2022 at 1:31 PM

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Looking for a new way to use that beer in your fridge? Or maybe a fun alternative to complicated cocktails for your next party? Look no further than the beertail.

These beer-based mixed drinks are not only refreshing, they tend to ride with the low ABV crowd, so they’re great for those hot patio drinking days. Maybe best of all, they’re easy to make.

 1. The Chelada

If you’ve ever stuffed a lime wedge into your bottle of Corona, you’ll appreciate this slightly spiffed version, which drinks more like a cocktail than a dressed up beer. 

1 large lime, juiced
1 lime, cut into wedges
Tajin (or rimming salt)
12 ounces light lager (Miller High Life, Corona), chilled

Take one of the lime wedges and rub it on the rim of a tall pint glass. Place a couple of teaspoons of Tajin on a plate slightly wider than the glass and rim the glass with it. Fill the glass with ice. Then pour in the lime juice and top off with the beer. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

2. The Spaghett 

Looking for something bright and refreshing? Try this unique take on an Aperol spritz using “The Champagne of Beers.”

1 Miller High Life, chilled
1 ounce of Aperol
1 ounce of lemon juice 

To make it right in the bottle, take a sip or two out of a nice cold bottle of Miller High Life to make room for the other ingredients. Then pour in the ounce of Aperol and lemon juice.

If you'd prefer, you can pour the Aperol and lemon into a pint glass and top off with the chilled Miller High Life.

3. The MKE Beermosa

This simple brunch cocktail is easy to make at home. But these pointers will give you better-than-average results: 

First, keep that beer light and bubbly. We’re keeping it ultra-MKE with Miller High Life (it’s called the champagne of beers for a reason); but a saison or pilsner works here as well (and a fruity craft gose can definitely take the cocktail to new levels). Second, use a high quality orange juice (hand squeezed and strained is best). Third, boost the citrus flavor by adding a few drops of orange bitters (experiment with other bitters and see what you love).

8 oz. Miller High Life
4 ounces orange juice
3 dashes Bittercube orange bitters

Pour orange juice into a tall glass that holds at least 14 ounces of liquid. Add beer. Top with bitters.

Tip: To make a green beer-mosa for St. Patrick’s Day, add 1/2 ounce of blue  curaçao.complexity with a few drops of local bitters.

4. Mexico City-style Michelada

When made well, the Michelada is one of the most refreshing beertails out there. Unlike some versions, which utilize tomato juice, this one is made Mexico City style with little more than lime juice, hot sauce and a few seasonings. It’s tart, a bit spicy and totally worthy of summer.

1 lime, cut into wedges
Tajin (for rimming the glass)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice 
1-2 teaspoons Valentina (or other Mexican hot sauce)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
celery salt
12 ounces light beer (think Corona, Miller High Life)

Take one of the lime wedges and rub it on the rim of a tall pint glass. Place a couple of teaspoons of Tajin on a plate slightly wider than the glass and rim the glass with it.

Add lime juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the glass, along with a pinch or two of celery salt. Stir to combine. Fill the glass with ice and top off with beer. Serve remaining beer on the side for drinking or topping off the cocktail as you go.

5. The Summer Shandy

No, Leinenkugel’s didn’t invent this drink, though bottling it up was a brilliant move. This ultra-easy summery cocktail lends itself to any number of beers, including classic light lager (Miller High Life) or wheat beer (Blue Moon). But feel free to experiment. I love this cocktail made with an ultra hoppy craft IPA.

6 ounces high quality lemonade
6 ounces chilled beer
Lemon slice (or twist) for garnish

 Pour beer into a tall glass. Top with lemonade and garnish with a lemon slice.

Unexpected riffs:  Try subbing cola, orange soda or ginger beer for the lemonade for a uniquely flavored variation on the shandy.

 6. The Lagerita 

Beer and margaritas were made for each other, so why not marry them together in a singular drink? Don’t be tempted to get too fancy with this one. A light lager (like Miller High Life) punches up the margarita flavor without diluting it. But a beer like an IPA or darker brew will tend to overpower the other flavors.

2 ounces tequila blanco
1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
4 ounces chilled light lager
lime wheel, for garnish

Pour tequila, Cointreau and lime juice into an 8 ounce glass (margarita glasses or rocks glasses both work well). Stir gently and top with ice. Pour beer over the top and garnish with lime.

Note: Feel free to rim the glass with lime and a dip in flakey sea salt

7. Blue Moon beer float

Blue Moon beer is perfect paired with an orange slice. So, why not pair it up with Blue Moon Ice Cream (which offers up a hint of lemongrass) or orange sherbet to make a refreshing citrus-tinged float? This lovely citrusy drink makes the perfect spring and summer dessert.

Blue moon ice cream or orange sherbet*
Blue Moon Belgian White beer

Place two scoops of the ice cream in the bottom of a chilled pint glass. Slowly pour the Blue Moon over the ice cream, taking care not to let the head rise too quickly.

*substitute orange sorbet for a dairy-free float

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.